IB Global Conference, San Diego 2022


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Thank you to everyone who attended the IB Global Conference, San Diego in July 2022. It was a truly memorable experience as we gathered in-person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

More than 1,850 attendees from 35 countries came together to engage in robust discussions and share fresh ideas and best practices for education. Held under the theme, Embracing innovation, inspiring action, attendees explored how innovative solutions often emerge from complex challenges and how these solutions can open new horizons, promote collaboration and nurture resilience.

Across the four-day event, there were multiple opportunities to learn and collaborate with educators from all over the world. Our outstanding line up of speakers shared unique perspectives on education through their own experiences and areas of expertise. We were truly inspired by the thought-provoking discussions and heartwarming sense of community. 

Watch some of the highlights and best moments at the conference.

Opening day: Innovative technology

On the first day, the session explored how innovation in technology, especially given the pivot to online learning as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has reshaped learning and teaching and the implications for the future.

On day one, Haif Bannayan, the IB’s Global Director, Business Development, delivered his welcome remarks. He emphasized the importance to humankind of creating ethically sustainable solutions; to understand what is relevant and valuable to society, and to develop and foster a sense of shared humanity in this digital age.

We proudly hosted several IB alumna, who shared how an IB education took them to where they are today. During the opening session, Annie Wang, who now works at Google for Education, kicked off the day with her speech about the teachers made an impact on her and shaped her belief in lifelong learning. 

Our first keynote speaker, President of UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Dr Freeman Hrabowski, addressed the challenges facing our nation’s schools and what these changes mean for our future work as we seek to increase student diversity, inclusion, and success. 

“At this time, more than ever, we must focus our attention in education on the importance of high expectations and hard work and building community among students and faculty, with an emphasis on preparing students to become global citizens,” he said.

Day 2: Innovative leadership

The following day, the general session centered on innovative leadership from a holistic perspective (all levels of leadership) to address a pertinent issue facing schools in the region, learning loss. We kicked off with “Lost learning found: A panel discussion on discovery”. Our guest panelists exchanged ideas on how to address learning loss through inquiry-based learning and innovative leadership.

Our community voice, Stanley Turner, a DP senior, gave a moving reflection on his IB education and how it had inspired him. 

We also learned about leadership from Dr Joe Sanfelippo, the Superintendent of the Fall Creek School District in Wisconsin. He stressed the importance of creating space for those we lead. “When you say that you’re ‘just’, when say that you’re ‘only’, you devalue your work and you give the person you’re talking to the license to do the same,” he said.

Closing day: Innovative service and learning 

Finally, we wrapped up the conference with a focus on innovative service and learning, while celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Career-related Programme (CP). During the panel discussion, “Embracing 10 years of CP innovation & action”, our panelists discussed how the CP uniquely equips students with future-ready skills. We looked at the benefits it provides to students, like offering them a say in their education, giving them different career options and developing entrepreneur skills that are key in a gig economy.

Our closing keynote, Jill McManigal, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Kids for Peace, made the case for weaving love and kindness into the classroom. We were certainly uplifted by her words. 

“Infusing love and kindness into education has never been so critical. Until we feel cared for and safe, we cannot reach our full potential. It is through compassion, kindness and connection that we will heal and once again thrive.” she said. “There's no doubt about it, kindness matters." 

Community service project

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We also supported the Local Arrangements Committee (LAC), California Association of IB World Schools (CAWS) and Comunidad de Apoyo San Diego (CASD) to raise funds for uninsured patients in the San Diego community. With the help of our attendees, we surpassed our donation goal of USD 3,000 and were able to raise more than USD 4,000 to fund surgical procedures for these patients, getting them back on their feet and back to what they love!

Breakout sessions

In addition to the general sessions, attendees were able to participate in more than 100 peer-to-peer and IB staff breakout sessions across four different tracks. 

These covered a wide range of the most relevant topics for IB educators and the larger global community today. From educational technology and innovation to inclusive education and well-being, learning and teaching to leadership, there were plenty of learning opportunities for everyone!

Attendees can log into the mobile app to download session slides that have been shared by presenters. A list of the breakout sessions can be found here.

Session highlights included: 

  • Diversity, equity and Inclusion in IB schools: Learning from each other's stories: Dr Michèle Rice, the organization’s first Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, led an insightful panel discussion with the knowledgeable Dr Aldo Anzures, Shawna Becenti, Luis Eduardo Rivas and Keisha Boggan.  Find out more by reading the IB’s Diversity, equity and inclusion statement.
  • Mitigating “learning loss” with inquiry: Kimberly Mitchell not only gave us strategies for implementing inquiry in the classroom, she demonstrated the value of those strategies by implementing them on us!
  • Leadership, creativity and divergent thinking: Francesco Banchini’s and Lynda Thompson's session reminded us of the critical role divergent thinking plays in leadership. “If we’re telling our students to think outside of the box and be creative, then as leaders, why do we not want that from the people we work with.”

We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to our community of passionate educators, presenters, exhibitors and sponsors for joining us in San Diego. The success of this conference would not have been possible without you!

See you at the IB Global Conference 2023 in Toronto!

Want to see more #IBGC2022 highlights?

Relive our attendees' favourite moments of the conference on social media!